Leasing Vs. Buying Solar Panels



What’s the difference between buying solar panels with a loan and leasing them? If you’re wondering what’s the best option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s go through what you need to know about buying vs. leasing solar panels.

Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?

There are three ways to purchase solar panels: cash, solar loans and solar leasing, otherwise known as a power purchase agreement (PPA). The best way for you to switch to clean renewable energy depends on your particular needs and financial goals.

Here is a quick overview of leasing vs. buying solar panels:

solar buying vs. leasing

The financial benefits of buying a home solar energy system with full cash upfront include:

The benefits of financing your solar panels with a loan include:

The benefits of solar leasing or solar purchase agreements (PPA) include:

What are the pros and cons of leasing vs. buying solar panels?

leasing vs buying solar panelsLet’s go through some of the pros and cons of leasing solar panels compared to purchasing solar panels with a loan.

Monthly payments

Leasing solar panels means you acquire a solar lease or PPA. Some may be $0 down, some may require money down, and this will determine your monthly cost.

Compared to a solar loan, the savings may be less because solar loans are typically paid down after a certain number of years, resulting in lowered monthly payments, and will eventually be paid off.

Maintenance and repairs

Leasing solar panels is only right for you if you want minimal responsibility for the solar panels installed. The owner of the solar panels (typically the solar leasing companies or installers) will send out a crew for maintenance or if anything needs to be fixed.

Compared to purchasing your solar panels, this could seem like a benefit. However, if you make sure to choose a solar provider with warranties on service and products for the life of your panels and loan, you won’t have to worry. Solar panels also require very minimal maintenance.

Selling your home

Leasing solar panels means that you do not own them. This means if you decide to move, you will have to contact the solar company to negotiate purchasing the lease or transferring to the new owner.

In comparison, with a solar loan your home will likely sell for more and faster, according to studies. And since you’ll receive a higher amount for your home, you could even recover the amount of the loan.

Solar incentives

Depending on your state, you’ll be eligible for solar rebates, incentives or state tax incentives if you purchase your solar power system instead of lease them. In addition, the federal government hands out the best solar incentive: the solar federal investment tax credit (ITC) which is currently 26% through the end of 2022. This federal tax credit will go to the owner of the system, which is more reason to purchase your solar system instead of leasing.

Why shouldn’t you lease solar panels? The answer depends on your motivation for owning the system, but overall buying a system is a much better option in most cases. If you’re looking for lower electric bills and eventually produce free energy for your home, buying solar panels is a great investment for your home.

How Leasing Vs. Buying Solar Panels Affects Selling Your Home

One of the things to consider when deciding whether to lease or buy your solar panel system is whether you want to sell your home within the lifetime of your loan or leasing agreement.

Moving a solar system from your home is costly and not a great idea, especially since solar panels increase the value of your home, leading to a higher selling price as well as less time on the market.

In fact, there is research out there on it.

Here’s some of the findings:

This means that having solar panels installed on your home is a great idea, but if you’re considering moving, you’ll have to take that into account when deciding between leasing or buying your system. In this case, buying your system with cash or with a loan is possibly a better investment.

Read more about how solar panels increase your home’s value.


Get a free consultation and a free quote when you decide to go solar with ADT Solar. Aside from the number of solar panels, we know you’ll have plenty of other questions about solar power. ADT Solar is happy to provide answers and make your switch to solar clear and painless.

Find out how much you can save with ADT Solar